Maximizing The Impact
In his book Tortured for Christ, Richard Wurmbrand says “In Africa, where the chief of the tribe has been won, the tribe follows. We set up missions to rank-and-file men who may become very fine Christians, but who have little influence and cannot change the state of things….So great is the impact of leaders.” For Brad Lomenick and the people at GiANT Impact, they understand that principle very well. They are impacting hundreds of thousands of leaders every year through their annual events of Catalyst and the Chick-fil-A Leadercast.
"Never before have leaders had such vast access to information and tools to help them reach their potential..."Brad Lomenick
...says Brad, the director of GiANT Impact. “The young leaders of today can almost instantly set up a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a web page, and gain a following. Those are all powerful tools to reach people, but we need to be careful not to bypass the processes that develop sound leadership skills and to not neglect the wisdom of previous generations. The younger generation of leaders, the twenty-somethings, have grown up with a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips and often have a sense of entitlement. To be an effective leader, they need to resist that sense of entitlement and realize that knowledge and wisdom aren’t synonymous. Wisdom is a process, and there is value in the journey.” That process is what GiANT Impact is all about, providing the tools to lead well.
The Chick-fil-A Leadercast is their largest, single-day event that is geared towards leaders of all levels and backgrounds to provide a voice to make a positive change locally and globally. It is simulcast around the world to over 800 sites and is viewed by over 150,000 people. In addition, the live site hosts over 4,500 people. Rather than a multi-day conference that is difficult to attend, Leadercast is one day, and, with local host sites located within easy driving distance, doesn’t require air travel and hotel stays. But it doesn’t just stop after the event is over. There are on-line tools, video segments and other instructional aids to help develop leadership skills for all levels of leaders. Leadercast features some of the most authentic and influential leaders of today, including Andy Stanley, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer, John Maxwell, Dr. Ben Carson, Tony Blair and many more. It was started in 2000 by a vision that John Maxwell had for developing an affordable and accessible leadership conference for leaders of all backgrounds.
Brad says that our nation, culture and business communities are all hungry for authentic leaders. There is an unprecedented level of accountability for leaders. With so many forms of instant communication, today’s business leaders must be transparent with board members, other managers, employees and investors. Today’s business leaders are challenged with a great responsibility to lead by example and to lead with excellence. Catalyst is the other large event series that GiANT Impact hosts. It started twelve years ago as a means of providing a unique leadership environment for young leaders, with the average age of attendees being about 33 years old. It is geared primarily towards church leadership of all levels. The annual event is hosted in Atlanta and draws over 13,000 attendees. In addition, smaller Catalyst events are held in Orange County, California and Dallas, Texas and other venues across the country. The Catalyst events feature the most influential church leaders, worship leaders, authors and speakers from around the world, including Francis Chan, Craig Groeschel, Patrick Lencioni, John Acuff, Beth Moore and Andy Stanley. Catalyst provides leadership blogs, podcasts, community forums and a monthly magazine to keep leaders plugged in.
While the obvious signs of success are in the number of people that attend their events, Brad says that the lasting impact that the events make is the real measure of success. He says, “We are the biggest fans and critics of our events. If we come away with a renewed sense of purpose and direction that we can then apply to our lives and positively affect our organization, it is a success. The bottom line is if we don’t like it, how do we expect anyone else to like it? We have been blessed to increase in attendees each year for both Leadercast and Catalyst.” They also actively track feedback from attendees and collect stories of impacts that are made. This is crucial to helping them provide a relevant experience for their attendees for future events and to disseminate information in the most efficient means possible.
Leadercast 2013 is scheduled for May 10th and will feature Condoleezza Rice, Mike Krzyzewski, Jack Welch and others. You can find out more information about attending the live event or locate the host site nearest to you by visiting the Leadercast web site at www.chick-fil-aleadercast.com.
By: Mark Whitaker
Mark Whitaker is the Executive Editor of TwoTen Magazine. He is inspired daily by his God, his wife Kim and his three daughters Hannah, Sarah, and Rhea.Read More Articles by Mark Whitaker